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Though we cannot conceive, much less describe, in what manner angels and saints in bliss converse one with another, yet from the text we know, what is the one, great, darling theme of their conversation. Moses and Elias descend from their heavenly thrones, from before the fountain of light and life, appear in glory, revisit the earth, associate with men, to do homage at the feet of Jesus, and to" speak of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem." This leads to a
IVth, and the most important remark on this passage of our Saviour's history, in connexion with that of Moses, namely, That under every dispensation, before the giving of the law, and under its reign, when it was restored, and after it is abolished; to righteous men on earth, to just men made perfect, to the angels of God; in the eye of God himself....there is one object of peculiar magnitude and importance, which is before all, above all, runs through all, and in which all shall finally terminate. It is surely not without a meaning, that the promises, the predictions, from first to last, point out a Saviour that should suffer and die; that all the types, services, sacrifices of the law should represent a salvation that was to be wrought out, to be purchased with blood; that the whole doctrine of the gospel should be compressed into one point, the doctrine of the Cross; that the throne of God eternal in the heavens should exhibit at its right hand, and in the midst of it, "a Lamb as it had been slain;" that the song of the redeemed should celebrate Him who loved the sons of men, and " washed them from their sins in his blood!" O the infatuation of a careless, unbelieving world! That subject which the ransomed of the Lord dwell upon with ever new and increasing delight; that great "mystery of godliness," which " angels desire to look into;" that object which the great God has marked with special precision as his own; the wonder of heaven, the joy of the earth, the theme of
eternity, was "to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;" is. to a faithless and perverse generation a thing of nought, the song of the drunkard, the jest of fools! If that blood has fallen and lies with such oppressive weight, both as a temporal and a spiritual curse on those who rashly imprecated it on themselves and their children, and then impiously and remorselessly shed it; " of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and bath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" Heb. x. 29. May that blood be upon us and upon our children, to cleanse, not to condemn, to exalt, not to overwhelm us, and be it our determinate resolution, through the grace that is in Christ, to kuow nothing in comparison of Christ Jesus and him crucified, "and to glory in nothing but his cross.
V. Observe, The superiority ascribed, by a voice from the most excellent glory, to Christ the Lord, swallowing up and eclipsing all created excellency and perfection. "This is my beloved Son, hear him," Luke ix. 35. proclaims the voice, and instantly Moses and Elias disappear, that Jesus may be all in all. They have brought their glory and honor and laid it at his feet; they have pointed out to mankind in whose light they shine, in what consists their chief eminence and distinction. They in effect say the same thing with John Baptist; He that cometh after me is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose," John i. 27. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," John i. 29. They fo bid us to look toward them, or to trust in them for salvation. Having given this testimony to their Lord and ours, they retire to that world of bliss into which they found admission through that blood which cleanseth from all sin, through that decease which Christ was ready" to accomplish at Jerusalem."
Let us joyfully bend the knee to Him, who," for the suffering of death, is crowned with glory and honor, and has obtained a name that is above every name;' whom Moses and Elias acknowledge as their greater; whom all the angels of God are commanded to worship, as "the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature," " by whom were created all things that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him and for him," Col. i. 16.
Finally, The passage exhibits to our wonderingeyes a glimpse of that glory which all the faithful shall fin ally attain; in the person of one who had never tasted death; whose body, by a miracle of almighty power, was fitted for heaven and immortality without seeing corruption in the grave; and of one, who as we must, died and was buried, and by a similar miracle was either ransomed from the power of the grave, or whose glorified spirit was fitted with a temporary vehicle of transparent use for the present grand occasion: but above all, in the person of the greatest of the three, who was pleased to clothe humanity, which had not yet, hut soon was to suffer death, with a transitory glory, the forerunner of that which should quickly follow, and do away all the ignominy of the tomb, and become the sure pledge of that glory with which he shall invest all them that believe, after" the fashion of his own glorious body." While we contemplate Mount Tabor, the immortal spirit looks through the -frail tottering fabric of flesh and blood, in which it is inclosed; and while, from its present connexion, it Burveys with concern the inroads of disease, the wastes of time, the approaches of dissolution; from the visions of God, from the power of free sovereign grace, from the present attainments of the faithful, beholds with rapture the splendor of that vehicle in which it shall ascend" to meet the Lord in the air," when
"mortality shall be swallowed up of life:" when it shall be united to a body insusceptible of pain, undepressed by its own gravity, unfettered by the laws of dull matter, uncondemned to mortality. Glorious and blessed day, when the meanest of the saints shall resemble Moses, not in that green and lively old age which experienced not dimness of eyes, nor abatement of natural vigor, but in that renovated youth, that unfading beauty, that impassive strength, that immortal lustre, wherein on the mount of the Lord he was seen; and shall resemble Elias, not by mounting with the help of a chariot of fire and horses of fire into heaven, but with native force, immediately derived from the great Source of life and motion, shall spontaneously ascend up to his native seat; shall resemble Christ, hist divine head, not in that sinless infirmity to which he voluntarily submitted in the days of his flesh, but in that glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and which for a moment burst forth on the mount of transfiguration, when" his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." Glorious and blessed gospel! which first taught the resurrection from the dead, which has " abolished death, a d brought life and immortality to light;" whose " exceeding great and precious promises" make men " partakers of a divine nature;" whose hallowed page represents saints and angels quitting their heavenly abode to minister to the necessities of wretched mo.tals; and wretched mortals ri ing to the everlasting possession of heavenly thrones. "O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ?""Thanks beto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," I Cor. xv. 57.
But now the curtain is dropt, Moses and Elias have resumed their places in heaven, and the glory of Tabor is no more. Yet, though unseen, they cease not to instruct us. Though withdrawn, they are in the midst of us still; the distinction of past and fu
ture they feel no longer, and separation by space canProvidence not keep celestial beings asunder brought together into one place the giver and restorer of the law; and the first harbingers of the gospel blending earth and heaven together in homage to the Son of God. And all distance between them too is now forever done away. Remote as we are, we behold them together in a state of glorious perfection, but permitted to converse with us no more. But he is with us still, their Lord and ours; his voice we can still hear, after they are silenced, and Him we are commanded to hear." " Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and forever:" "To Him all the prophets give witness,' and he is " the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
And thus have we finished our proposed delineation of the lives of the patriarchs, from Adam, the father of the human race, down to Moses, the great legislator and prophet of the Hebrew nation; with the intermediate llustrious personages, whom the spirit of God has preserved from oblivion, for our information and use; whom Providence raised up in the earlier ages of the world, to occupy distinguished stations, and to accomplish important designs; who, by their respective characters offices and declaration, predicted or prefig ured the Messiab; vho edified the world, while they lived, by their doctrine and example; and who, being dead, continue living monitors and instructors of mankind.
While we contemplate the progress of these venerable figures along the plain of existence, we feel ourselves in motion, we are hurrying down the stream, we begin to mingle with the assembly of the departed, we leave our place among men empty. Of those who entered with us on this career of meditation, “some are not; their course is finished, they have fulfilled their day, they are gone to join the men who lived beyond the flood. The cold hand of death has frozen up some